MINSK, August 26 (RAPSI) - Vladislav Baumgertner, Chief Executive Officer of OAO Uralkali, the world's largest potash producer, has launched an appeal challenging his detention in Belarus earlier this week, RIA Novosti reported Wednesday.

"The lawyers have filed three applications [with the court], the central of which concerns changing of the measure of restraint," the agency quoted an unnamed spokesman of the Russian Embassy in Belarus as having said. A hearing is expected to be held next week, the source of the agency added.

Baumgertner was detained in Minsk Monday and charged with abuse of power, according to the Investigative Committee of Belarus. According to the Belarusian authorities, the criminal case was launched as the result of a probe into abuse of power allegations that led to grave damage to the public interests of Belarus, and damages to Belarusian Potash company.

Uralkali reacted swiftly, blaming Belarus authorities for the incident. "We are suprised with what has happened and consider it a provocation," PRIME business news agency quoted Uralkali representative Alexander Babinsky as saying.

The Belarusian law limits the period of investigation into the criminal case to two months, however it may be further prolonged at any time if necessary.